ATLANTA, GA (July 25, 2018) - Three high school seniors decided during their last semester of school to consider careers in construction, and Batson-Cook’s High School Internship Program is the reason!
Eric Hinton and Chavon Grazier from the Fulton County Schools College and Career Academy, along with Chris Adams from Atlanta’s Crim High School, participated in Batson-Cook’s first-ever high school internship program this Spring. For 12 weeks, each worked alongside several Batson-Cook team members at our Northside Hospital Midtown MOB project to be exposed to various aspects of commercial construction.
Eric Hinton (left) has already accepted with IBEW to pursue an apprenticeship and career as an electrician. He said he thoroughly enjoyed learning about different areas of work at the jobsite, but the electrical trade piqued his interest most. Justin Gilliam was his primary mentor.
Chavon Grazier (center) has enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps and plans to enter their engineering program. Teja Velagapudi was her primary mentor.
Chris Adams (right) also found the electrical trade to be the most interesting. As a result, Jerry McMichen, Chris’s primary mentor, put him in touch with one of our electrical subs to discuss his possibilities for the future.
McMichen said that construction trades internship programs, especially at the high school level, are needed because students are rarely exposed to the construction trades because few schools offer vocational training. He noted that when he was in high school, one of his vocational classes built a 12x12 shed that was purchased by someone in the community and used for at least 40 years!
Velagapudi was impressed by Chavon’s diligent approach to the tasks she was asked to do. “It was her first experience with construction, but she was 100-percent focused on getting everything right,” she noted.
Workforce development was among Randy Hall’s core initiatives during his tenure as president of AGC Georgia and continues to be at the forefront of Batson-Cook’s endeavors. Under Jimmy Kennedy’s leadership, the company spearheaded the renovation and equipping of a construction trades classroom at Crim High School in Atlanta. The Jacksonville Office provided a tour of its Baptist Medical South project for construction students at University of North Florida. It was the first visit to a commercial construction site for a couple of them. These are just two of many opportunities Batson-Cook offers to young people with an interest in our industry.
Dela Rakestraw, Batson-Cook’s human resources generalist, recruits on college campuses and spearheads the company’s internship program. She expects another high school internship program to take place in the near future.
ATLANTA, GA – Ask 17 construction trades students at Atlanta’s Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High School about Jimmy Kennedy and Batson-Cook, and you’ll hear nothing but praise and accolades. Their instructor, Richard Elder, will tell you that Batson-Cook, an alliance of trade partners, and Associated General Contractors of Georgia have made his dreams come true in 10 short months.
Wondering just how that happened? Consider the convergence of the following:
Crim High School, an open campus alternative school offering career pathway training and credit-recovery core classes, had a small, poorly-equipped space for teaching construction trades to students interested in the field. Funds for improving the situation were not available.
Randy Hall, Batson-Cook’s president and CEO, is currently president of Associated General Contractors of Georgia. One of his initiatives is to enhance AGC’s Workforce Development Program, the purpose of which is to challenge contractors to partner with local high schools that teach construction in order to educate students about the rewards of a career in construction and create a sustainable workforce for years to come. Hall himself has served in a variety of advisory roles to college construction programs, and is acutely aware of the current shortage of construction trades craftsmen.
Jimmy Kennedy, a project executive for Batson-Cook’s healthcare operations in Atlanta, was eager to tackle a different kind project that would benefit young people, the construction industry, and the local community.
These factors led Batson-Cook to adopt Crim as its Workforce Development partner. Jimmy took the lead and formed an alliance with two dozen Batson-Cook trade partners to build out and equip a construction lab and classroom at the high school. The group toured the facility last May, developed a plan and schedule over the summer, and began construction in October. The students worked alongside Kennedy and other alliance team members, thereby gaining valuable hands-on experience in carpentry, framing, painting, and electrical trades. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week, and the students could not have been more excited.
"Seeing the passion and enthusiasm grow in these kids as they began to grasp the variety of opportunities available to them in construction was so rewarding,” Kennedy said. “They understand now that they have a lot of choices; they aren’t limited to being a laborer in the field.”
Said Richard Elder, their instructor and the manager of Crim’s Work-Based Learning Program, “No one is leaving empty-handed anymore. Whether they want to go to college or start a career, we’re making it happen here at Crim.
“This is the only construction program in the Atlanta school system right now,” he continued. “I’ve taught construction for 33 years and have been at Crim for 13. I’ve hung in there, and I’m glad, because I finally have an avenue for the four major industry trades – plumbing, electric, masonry and carpentry – to come to class and work one-on-one with our students.”
Elder noted that student responses to the Workforce Development alliance were moving. One of two female students said, “I’ve always felt lost (in the education system), but I’ve found my calling now.” He added that a male student who has faced many challenges is “transforming before my eyes. He’s going to be president of something one day!”
“One of the goals of our alliance is to get to know the students so we can introduce them to an exciting career in construction,” Hall said. “When I saw one of the students walk up to Jimmy and say ‘Hey, I know you!’, I knew the effort was successful.
“I am very proud of our Workforce Development team and especially proud of Jimmy Kennedy,” Hall continued. “Many trade partners participated in the project, but in the end, the students did most of the work.”
ATLANTA, GA (May 12, 2015) – More than 60 employees of Batson-Cook Construction’s Atlanta office celebrated the firm’s 100th anniversary with a “Day of Service” project at Christian City, a non-profit organization located in Union City which provides a full spectrum of services to seniors and children alike.
The Batson-Cook team arrived at Christian City to prepare a community garden for the children and senior citizens who reside at the facility. Armed with gardening tools, landscaping supplies, building materials and blueberry bushes, the team set about to assemble pre-designed raised gardening beds that are wheelchair accessible, build a pergola, and plant blueberry bushes. They also weeded, mulched, and set new plants in existing landscaped areas on the grounds of Christian City.
“Our employees chose to make community service projects one of the primary ways we would celebrate our 100th anniversary,” said Randy Hall, President and CEO of the company, which is headquartered in West Point, Georgia. “One of our corporate values is community involvement, and this project fulfills that goal while enabling us, as individuals, to be involved in a hands-on project that will help enrich the lives of people at Christian City.”
Residents of Christian City will tend the community garden on a regular basis, and will plant more fruits, vegetables and flowers as needed. They will also enjoy eating the fresh fruits and vegetables that their garden produces.
“We are grateful to Batson-Cook for their partnership and dedication to Christian City,“ said Bob Crutchfield, Christian City’s President and CEO. “By building a Community Garden…the employees at Batson-Cook are creating a place for the residents to have access to fresh produce and nutritionally-rich foods that will encourage a healthy lifestyle. Gardening motivates people to stay active longer as well as increases a sense of ownership and pride when they are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.”
Christian City ministers to families, but focuses primarily on the needs of abused and abandoned children, the aged and infirm by providing residential, health and social services in a manner consistent with the Christian faith. The campus is a vibrant and active Atlanta retirement community as well as a refuge for children without families of their own.
Batson-Cook, formed in 1915, builds a wide range of commercial projects for healthcare, industrial, manufacturing and private development clients throughout the Southeast. We have the heart of a family-owned general contractor with the reach of a global construction firm. We build with passion. We operate with integrity.
TAMPA, FLORIDA (May 6, 2015) - Batson-Cook Construction celebrated the firm’s 100th anniversary today with a “Day of Service” to benefit the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association Community Center.
More than 30 Batson-Cook employees converged on a stately 100-year-old church in Tampa Heights to prepare the building for its final phase of renovation scheduled for later this month. The church is being converted into a teen center for the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association Community Center, which currently provides after-school and summer programs for children and teens at a nearby facility. The Tampa Heights neighborhood is enjoying a resurgence of new construction and revitalization.
Once converted, the 10,000-square-foot facility will feature a performing arts center, a commercial kitchen, a recording studio, and state-of-the-art technology throughout. Programs for teens will be held in the repurposed building, which will also be available for special occasions, such as weddings. Children’s programs will continue to operate in the current facility.
“Our employees wanted a service project that would benefit the children in our local community,” said Frank Nelson, senior vice-president and general manager of Batson-Cook’s Tampa office. “This project fulfills that mission, and we look forward to celebrating the center’s grand opening this summer.”
The Batson-Cook team scraped, sanded and painted interior trim and walls; painted outside wrought-iron and window trim; secured and stained a handicap entrance ramp; and poured 80 feet of 5-foot concrete sidewalk connecting a storage shed to the church building. Batson-Cook will return to the site to assist with the final phase of the renovation.
“One of our corporate values is community involvement,” said Randy Hall, president and CEO of Batson-Cook (pictured left). “Everyone at Batson-Cook feels that giving back to the communities in which we work is a great way to celebrate our 100th year in business. This ‘Day of Service’ in Tampa is the first of these events, with others to follow in Jacksonville, Atlanta, and West Point, Georgia.”
Since 2010, the City of Tampa, the community surrounding Tampa Heights, a local architect who specializes in historical projects, and numerous sponsors have worked tirelessly to convert the church into a gathering place for youth without the city incurring any cost. The overall project was conceived by John Tennison of Atelier Architectural Engineering Construction; Patrick Sneed, the community center’s executive director; and Lena Young Green, president of JCA. They, along with Tampa City Councilman Frank Reddick, dropped by for today’s event.
Shooting clays, shucking oysters and shaking hands were the order of the day at the second annual Florida Healthcare Engineering Association’s Clay Shoot and Pig Roast sponsored by Batson-Cook on Friday, November 7, at Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm. More than 100 people attended the event, which began with an afternoon shoot that was followed by an oyster roast, a pig roast buffet, prizes and awards – and lots of merriment!
FHEA is an organization for healthcare engineering professionals and supporting industry members. Our own Ed Varnes, vice president of business development / healthcare in Florida who holds an office in FHEA’s District II, spear-headed the inaugural event last year and brought it to Batson-Cook when he joined our ranks in late August.
Representatives from multiple hospital facilities across the Northeast Florida region, along with contractors, trade partners and vendors, received a healthy dose of Batson-Cook Jacksonville hospitality!
Newnan, GA - April 21, 2014 - Juniors and seniors from Auburn University's School of Building Science visited the Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Southeastern Regional Medical Center expansion jobsite in Newnan, Georgia, to learn about the innovative technology and techniques Batson-Cook is utilizing during the construction of this complex healthcare project.
This is the second time Darren Olsen - assistant professor in Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction - has brought a group of students to tour a Batson-Cook jobsite; the first time was during construction of the original CTCA hospital.
Batson-Cook Construction is inviting LaGrange-area Veterans (of any era or branch of service) to attend the 5th Annual Batson-Cook Construction Honor Bus Tour of the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia. Veterans will be treated to chartered transportation, a continental breakfast prior to departure, an IMAX® film screening, guided museum tours and lunch.
The Honor Bus will depart from the First Presbyterian Church in LaGrange, located at 120 Broad Street November 11th at 8:30 AM and will return at approximately 4:30 PM.
The Honor Bus Tour is free for all Veterans but space is limited and reservations are required.
For information and/or reservations please visit the Honor Bus Tour website at www.HonorBusTour.com, send an e-mail to HonorBus@Batson-Cook.com or call 706-643-2500.
West Point, Georgia – July 23, 2013 - Batson-Cook Construction recently completed the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) building in Dothan, Alabama. The $25-million facility represents the initial phase of a master plan for the Alabama Health Sciences Campus and is the first osteopathic college in the state. Classes are scheduled to begin in August.
"ACOM will help to address the immediate need for primary care physicians in Alabama, particularly in underserved markets,” states Senior Project Manager Conn Crabtree. “It is rewarding to be on the team for such a purpose-driven project. To experience the excitement surrounding the project and the community’s involvement in it makes our work even more fulfilling.”
Batson-Cook injected about $13 million into the Dothan economy by contracting with local vendors for materials and with local firms for 60 percent of the subcontractor work, Crabtree noted. The project team, led by developer KUD International, LLC, included Barrios Architects and Northstar Engineering Services, in addition to Batson-Cook.
The new ACOM building provides 110,000 square feet of educational and administrative space. It features two auditoriums, each with a seating capacity of 216; an osteopathic laboratory; and an anatomy lab. All of the teaching spaces are equipped with a classroom capture system to record and store lectures and presentations for future reference. Student amenities include a bistro, lounge area, and multiple green spaces across the property.
Batson-Cook, founded in 1915, specializes in providing commercial general contracting, preconstruction, construction management, and design-build services to a wide range of clients. The firm has offices in Atlanta and West Point, Georgia, and in Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida. Batson-Cook has brought its dedication to quality construction to nearly every major category of building, including office, multi-family housing, industrial, retail, institutional, healthcare, hospitality, education, and resort facilities.